The Saxon Steed (German: Sachsenross, Niedersachsenross, Welfenross, Westfalenpferd; Dutch : Twentse Ros / Saksische ros/paard; Low Saxon: Witte Peerd) is a heraldic motif associated with Lower Saxony and Westphalia.
Lower Saxony is a German state (Land) situated in northwestern Germany. It is the second-largest state by land area, with 47,624 km2 (18,388 sq mi), and fourth-largest in population among the 16 Länder federated as the Federal Republic of Germany. In rural areas, Northern Low Saxon and Saterland Frisian are still spoken, but the number of speakers is declining.
Westphalia is a region in northwestern Germany and one of the three historic parts of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has an area of 20,208 km2 (7,802 sq mi) and 7.9 million inhabitants.
The horse as a heraldic charge associated with Saxony first appears in the late 14th century, at which time it was described as an "old Saxon" motif.[ citation needed ] For this reason, there has been a long history of antiquarian speculation[ by whom? ] identifying the motif as a tribal symbol of the ancient Saxons.[ citation needed ]
The Saxons were a Germanic people whose name was given in the early Middle Ages to a large country near the North Sea coast of what is now Germany. Earlier, in the late Roman Empire, the name was used to refer to Germanic inhabitants of what is now England, and also as a word something like the later "Viking", as a term for raiders. In Merovingian times, continental Saxons were associated with the coast of what later became Normandy. Though sometimes described as also fighting inland, coming in conflict with the Franks and Thuringians, no clear homeland can be defined. There is possibly a single classical reference to a smaller homeland of an early Saxon tribe, but it is disputed. According to this proposal, the Saxons' earliest area of settlement is believed to have been Northern Albingia. This general area is close to the probable homeland of the Angles.
A tradition first recorded in 1492 reports that the 8th-century Saxon ruler Widukind displayed a black horse as his field sign.
Widukind, also known as Widuking or Wittekind, was a leader of the Saxons and the chief opponent of the Frankish king Charlemagne during the Saxon Wars from 777 to 785. Charlemagne ultimately prevailed, organized Saxony as a Frankish province, massacred thousands of Saxon nobles, and ordered conversions of the pagan Saxons to Roman Catholicism. In later times, Widukind became a symbol of Saxon independence and a figure of legend; the Codex Wittekindeus is said to have been owned by him.
The horse motif was adopted by the House of Welf, whose original symbol was a golden lion on red ground. It has also been used in several provinces in Westphalia (therefore, it is also called Westfalenross, meaning "Westphalian steed", or Welfenross, meaning "Welf steed"). After this, it became the heraldic animal of the Kingdom of Hanover (since 1866 the Prussian Province of Hanover), of the Prussian Province of Westphalia and since 1922 of the Free State of Brunswick. This tradition continues in two modern federal States of Germany: Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia.
The House of Welf is a European dynasty that has included many German and British monarchs from the 11th to 20th century and Emperor Ivan VI of Russia in the 18th century.
The Kingdom of Hanover was established in October 1814 by the Congress of Vienna, with the restoration of George III to his Hanoverian territories after the Napoleonic era. It succeeded the former Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and joined 38 other sovereign states in the German Confederation in June 1815. The kingdom was ruled by the House of Hanover, a cadet branch of the House of Welf, in personal union with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until 1837. Since its monarch resided in London, a viceroy handled the administration of the Kingdom of Hanover.
Prussia was a historically prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital in Königsberg and from 1701 in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany.
The Province of Hanover was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia from 1868 to 1946.
The Province of Westphalia was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia from 1815 to 1946.
The Free State of Brunswick was a state of the German Reich in the time of the Weimar Republic. It was formed after the abolition of the Duchy of Brunswick in the course of the German Revolution of 1918–19. Its capital was Braunschweig (Brunswick).
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The white horse is similar to the one used in the coat of arms for the county of Kent in England, which is likely to have originated in the Rhineland area.
The white horse of Kent or the white horse rampant is a symbol of Kent, a county in south-east England.
Kent is a county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London to the north west, Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south west. The county also shares borders with Essex along the estuary of the River Thames, and with the French department of Pas-de-Calais through the Channel Tunnel. The county town is Maidstone.
The coat of arms of the German state of Lower Saxony shows a white Saxon steed (Sachsenross) on a red background.
The steed became the coat of arms of the Province of Hanover as a province of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1866 after it had been in use for the Duchy of Brunswick and the Kingdom of Hanover since 1814. It appears on some of their 19th Century coins and postage stamps. It was even in use after the abolition of German monarchy after World War I until 1935, when state flags were prohibited by the Nazis and only the flag of Nazi Germany was to be used.
After World War II, the Province of Hanover became an independent state on 23 August 1946, and used the steed as its coat of arms again. Brunswick, which was also an independent state, had made the same decision some weeks before, on 8 July 1946. When these two states, along with Oldenburg and Schaumburg-Lippe, were merged into the new state of Lower Saxony, the Saxon steed became the unofficial coat of arms of the new state, and later the official one.
The Saxon steed is also shown in one of the three sections of the coat of arms of North Rhine-Westphalia, particularly associated with the area of Westphalia.
In 1714 the House of Hanover became united in personal union with the United Kingdom. As a result, the Saxon Steed is found in the British royal arms during the Hanoverian period.
To express the Saxon heritage of the Twente region, local language and culture enthusiast J.J. van Deinse designed a common flag in the 1920s. The region borders on both the German states of Lower Saxony and North-Rhine-Westphalia. The local language, Tweants, is commonly classified as an extension of the Westphalian branche of the Low Saxon language. Within the Netherlands, it is known to be one of the more traditional (or conservative) varieties of the language.
Due to growing interests and pride in local culture, the Saxon steed has become a popular image. It can be found in varying formats and appearances, as well as to various degrees of stylisation in the likes of local football club FC Twente's logo, the local branch (Twents) of a Dutch public transport provider, and a growing range of other instances.
A Regierungsbezirk is a type of administrative division in Germany.
Schaumburg is a district (Landkreis) of Lower Saxony, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Nienburg, Hanover and Hamelin-Pyrmont, and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Hanover is a territory that was at various times a principality within the Holy Roman Empire, an Electorate within the same, an independent Kingdom, and a subordinate Province within the Kingdom of Prussia. The territory was named after its capital, the city of Hanover, which was the principal town of the region from 1636. In contemporary usage, the name is only used for the city; most of the historical territory of Hanover forms the greater part of the German Land of Lower Saxony but excludes certain areas.
The Duchy of Brunswick was a historical German state. Its capital was the city of Brunswick (Braunschweig). It was established as the successor state of the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel by the Congress of Vienna in 1815. In the course of the 19th-century history of Germany, the duchy was part of the German Confederation, the North German Confederation and from 1871 the German Empire. It was disestablished after the end of World War I, its territory incorporated into the Weimar Republic as the Free State of Brunswick.
Amt Neuhaus is a municipality in the District of Lüneburg, in Lower Saxony, Germany. Amt means "municipal office" in German. The original "municipal office of Neuhaus" existed since at least the 17th century until 1885, consecutively as part of Saxe-Lauenburg, Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1689-1810), Kingdom of Hanover (1814-1866), and the Prussian Province of Hanover (1866-1885).
Elbingerode (Harz) is a district of Oberharz am Brocken in the Harz district, in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. The former town was incorporated into the newly established municipality on 1 January 2010.
This is a list of coats of arms of Germany.
The coat of arms of the German federal-state of Lower Saxony shows a white Saxon steed on a red background.
The coat of arms of North Rhine-Westphalia is the official coat of arms of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The coat of arms of the present-day German free state of Saxony shows a tenfold horizontally-partitioned (Barry) field of black (Sable) and gold/yellow (Or) stripes, charged with a green (vert) crancelin running from viewer's top-left to bottom-right. Although the crancelin is sometimes shown bent (embowed) like a crown, this is due to artistic license. The coat of arms is also displayed on the state flag of Saxony.
The State of Hanover was a short-lived state within the British zone of Allied-occupied Germany. It existed for 92 days in the course of the dissolution of the Free State of Prussia after World War II until the foundation of Lower Saxony in 1946. The state saw itself in the tradition of the former Kingdom of Hanover, annexed by Prussia in 1866, reflected in the Saxon Steed state emblem. After Lower Saxony was founded by merging Hanover with several smaller states, it would continue to use the Hanover emblems.
The flag of Lower Saxony consists of the flag of the Federal Republic of Germany in Schwarz-Rot-Gold, with the coat of arms of Lower Saxony, shifted slightly toward the hoist. This flag is the civil and state flag. A double tailed version in 3:5 ratio is used as the state ensign.
The 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade in Hildesheim was a formation in the Bundeswehr, which was subordinated to the 1st Armoured Division in Hanover. The Brigade was disbanded on 31 December 2007. During its lifetime the Brigade was stationed between the Lüneburg Heath, Harz Mountains, the Solling hills and the River Weser.
The German Emperors after 1873 had a variety of titles and coats of arms, which in various compositions became the officially used titles and coats of arms. The title and coat of arms were last fixed in 1873, but the titles did not necessarily mean that the area was really dominated, and sometimes even several princes bore the same title.
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